Adam Ziobrowski, Staff Writer
College football fans found out who is participating in the latest College Football Playoff (CFP) as the final rankings were released on Sunday afternoon. The Clemson Tigers will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in one semifinal while the Oklahoma Sooners will play the Georgia Bulldogs in the other.
As lucky fans of these four schools get excited, other college football fans are left wondering if the system that determines the top four teams in college football is fair or not, including Utica football student assistant coach Cory Gruenthaner.
“I don’t believe the system is fair,” Gruenthaner said. “Look at Auburn. They beat Alabama and Georgia when they were number one weeks before, and they aren’t number one now. It isn’t strictly on wins and losses but it should be.”
Gruenthaner has the same view that many other college football fans around campus have, including sophomore Michael Colegrove.
“I love the playoff format, but I don’t believe you can determine the best team in college football by selecting only four teams and letting them play for the title,” Colegrove said. “Look at the University of Central Florida. They are undefeated, and they have no chance to play for the national title. Small schools don’t get the opportunity that large schools have.”
Although it is true that smaller schools have a difficult time climbing the CFP ranking compared to larger schools, fans have no choice but to accept the fact and hope the selection committee puts in some of the teams they hope for.
After Saturday night’s conference title games, it is fair to say many people would like the playoffs expanded to fit more deserving teams in.
Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia solidified their spots in this years CFP after winning their conference titles on Saturday night. The selection committee put in Alabama over Big Ten champion Ohio State and PAC 12 champion USC. Besides Ohio State and USC, there were a handful of other deserving teams who were left out of the CFP.
With that, fans talked about what borderline teams they felt were deserving of making the CFP.
“I think Alabama was most deserving to get in,” Utica offensive lineman Joe Capuano said. “They have always been a dominant team, and we can’t forget they have appeared in the past two CFP title games and won the title two seasons ago. I just think they have a strong resumé and you couldn’t have left them out.”
Gruenthaner thought Ohio State should have been the team to get the final nod into the playoffs.
“Ohio State has too much talent,” he said. “Both with their players and hall of fame-worthy head coach Urban Meyer.”
Some fans on campus are hoping that the playoff is expanded to eight teams in the future, but the consensus around campus this season is that no team can stop Clemson, even if it was more than a four-team playoff system.
“I think Clemson is going to win the title,” Colegrove said. “They come into the playoffs red-hot and have the playoff experience to make another run to their third straight title game.”
Capuano also felt Clemson is “too good” to lose in the playoffs.
“The field is really good this year, but I think Clemson pulls it off,” Capuano said. “Dabo Swinney is an excellent coach and will come in handy in close games, and the defense is one of the best in the country. I don’t see how they aren’t winning back-to-back titles when it’s all said and done.”
Fans will have to wait a few weeks for both semifinal games as they will take place on Jan. 1, followed by the national championship on Jan. 8. Until then, fans are left debating who will be crowned the national champions of college football.